Florence Bra by Seamwork Magazine Sewalong

Florence Bra by Seamwork Magazine Sewalong

Sewing up a bra for the first time always seemed so complicated to me.  Then I got to chatting with my sewing pal Helen and discovered that she was also a bit intimidated by the idea.  We knew we wanted to sew one up eventually but had not committed to it so Helen being awesome and proactive said “Let’s have a bra sewalong!”

I have never sewn anything with anyone before except for school projects so I was all for it!  I’ve always wanted a sewing buddy and Helen couldn’t be more perfect to fit the bill!  Now if only that pesky Atlantic Ocean wasn’t between us! Luckily, IG made it easy for us to send photos and messages and have a sense of collaboration despite the time zone difference.  Helen is also just so wonderful to chat with that it doesn’t even feel like she’s that far away anyway!

We already had a few projects in the queue and I was about to go on a two-week vacation so we decided to start at the beginning on June.  We went with the Florence bra by Seamwork since we both have it.  Unfortunately, things got pushed back about two weeks into June because I had unbearable jet lag and was struggling to figure out what supplies to buy.  Ultimately, I went with all black because I really wanted to start and I knew I would love black either way.

Sewalong Approach

We approached our sewalong by completing one step each day and sending each other pictures and updates the next day.  This worked out pretty well for us as we were able to brainstorm together when my mornings and Helen’s evenings overlapped.  It was also great to get tips from each other on things that worked and didn’t work.

Florence Bra Seamwork Magazine

Sizing & Straps

As for the Florence pattern, I didn’t have any issues with it luckily.  I cut out an XS for the band and a M for the cup. The pieces were easy to put together and cut out. That made me really happy!  Then I had to conquer the straps and sliders.  This was a first for me and of course I was like … wait, how??  I struggled with looping the strap back into the slider as it didn’t seem it would fit.  I eventually found a way to do it and now I look at it and think “What was so scary about that?” 😉

Florence Bra Seamwork MagazineNext step: Sew up the cups

I used a wide zigzag stitch and it turned out pretty well.  Everything was still coming together nicely and in a timely manner.  So I moved onto attaching the straps to the cups and thank goodness for our sewalong because Helen warned me that the top portion of the cup that attaches to the strap pops out if you don’t tuck it in as you are sewing.  With that in mind, I was able to sew it up without a hitch.

Florence Bra Seamwork Magazine                     Florence Bra Seamwork Magazine      Florence Bra Seamwork Magazine

Although, once I saw how the straps attached to the cup I wasn’t convinced that the fit would look right.  The strap seemed like it would pull the cup away from the body and towards the arm.  I moved forward anyway since I wouldn’t really know until I attach the cups to the band and try it on.

Florence Bra Seamwork Magazine

The Band

The next day, I attached the cups to the band starting from the side to the center front.  I carefully pinned them so I could make sure the points met in the center.  At this point the bra was practically done.  I just needed to sew up the back seam of the band, attach the straps to the back and sew elastic around the bottom of the band.  I really wanted to try it on so I sewed up the back seam and attached the straps but left the elastic for the following day.

Yay!  I was almost done and I finally got to try it on.  I was really hoping I would love it and want to wear it all the time. Once I tried it on all my fears were eased.  It fit just right and it looked so pretty.  I’ve been dreaming of having a pretty lace bralette and I finally had one!  I didn’t want to get too excited since I still had to attach the elastic band and that could ruin everything… haha.

Florence Bra Seamwork MagazineThe following afternoon I sat down and carefully attached the elastic.  There was no way I was going to let the final step of my bra making ruin this for me! Everything looked fine, things were going smoothly and sure enough I was done!

Florence Bra Seamwork Magazine

Now, for the final fit test! 

Drum roll please!  I’m sure you guessed it by now but IT FIT!  I was very pleased and honestly now I want to sew up a whole bunch more lingerie.  It’s just so beautiful and dainty and fun!

If you want more bra fun check out Helen’s Florence bra here!  It is bursting with color and she is so thorough in her description of her experience it is definitely a must read for anyone looking to sew up Florence or any bra for that matter. 🙂

Happy Sewing!

For more bra sewing fun check out these posts:

Bare Essentials Bra Pattern

So Sew Easy Ultimate Sports Bra

Kwik Sew 3167 Camisole and Panties

Wardrobe Architect Week 13

On week 13 of Wardrobe Architect, Colette offered a free downloadable worksheet from A Sewist’s Notebook by Beth Byrge to help plan your sewing projects.  I happen to be working on my self-drafted Bardot dress (blog post coming soon) and used this handy worksheet.  Check out the photo below.
What I like about this worksheet is I often forget the exact name of the fabric I am using as well as any special finishing techniques I decide to do mid project but this allowed me to write it down.  This worksheet is so helpful because it allows you to have a more organized project and to also plan projects out ahead of time.  It is also a great reference when you are shopping for fabrics and supplies.  But, honestly if you are anything like me and you look back on a garment you made a year or more ago and can’t remember how you did what you did then you might need something like this!

If this notebook doesn’t float your boat, then check out Colette’s Sewing Planner.  At the time of the original blog post, Colette had yet to release their sewing planner book.  They now offer a hardcover book with many resources.  I will admit I am a bit torn between Beth Byrge’s 110 Creations: A Sewist’s Notebook and Colette’s Sewing Planner.  I’m not investing in one just yet but I think either would be a great addition to my sewing resources. 🙂 I’m also a sucker for anything that makes me feel like I am more organized than I really am as well… so I think it’s in my near future. 😉

Do you have any special organization tips whether it be for sewing or just life in general?

Ariane Slip | Seamwork Magazine

Ariane Slip | Seamwork Magazine

I’m very happy to say that I finished my Ariane Slip and it is so delicate and sexy!  I didn’t necessarily envision it that way but it was a nice little surprise.  Originally, I wanted to sew this up as a camisole but decided to go for the slip instead because I thought I could wear it as a dress.  I do think it can be worn as a dress depending on the fabric you chose but I think I’ll leave my for the privacy of my own home.  😉

Sizing

I typically cut out an XS for most patterns and I did the same for this one.  However, I’ve been working out quite a bit and I didn’t realize that maybe I should have cut out a size small instead.  Luckily, my slip still fits it’s just much tighter than I am used to.

Ariane Slip  Ariane Slip

What I loved about sewing this garment is that I got to sew cups up for the first time.  At first, I confused myself and didn’t understand how the pieces fit together.  THEN I realized I was missing a piece.  Silly me!  This was also my first time using foldover elastic and sewing with viscose fabric.  It was much less complicated than I thought and I’m really glad that I have some knowledge of how to work with them now.

Tips

A couple tips on the viscose would be to be very very careful when you are cutting it out because it is slippery fabric.  Also, use a 75/11 ballpoint needle.  I tried to use an 80/11 ballpoint and it wasn’t sharp enough. Regarding the foldover elastic, be very careful when you pin it to the fabric as the little fibers are easy to prick and pull away from the elastic.  My last tip would be to try on the slip and have someone help you measure the shoulder strap length before sewing the straps to the back as the instructions direct you to.

Ariane SlipAriane SlipAriane Slip

I’m really happy with the outcome of my slip.  I really love the lavender gray and I am so happy that the white straps with gray stitching make the slip pop.

If you’re interested in sewing up the Ariane Slip  head to the Seamwork web site.

For more lingerie fun:

Bare Essentials Demi Bra Pattern

Just Patterns Bias Tank Night Gown Hack

Florence Bralette | Seamwork

Kwik Sew 3167 Camisole and Panties

BBG – Take 2

 

What do you think about this workout outfit?  I love exercise clothes… maybe it’s the compression that holds everything in nicely or maybe it’s the everyday ease or maybe I like that they push me to workout.  Who knows?!  This is my exercise sewing dream outfit not necessarily in the cat print although I love the kitties – now just for getting it done. 🙂

Top left: Colette Patterns – Astoria pullover, Right: Colette Patterns – Aries Fitted Athletic Tights, Bottom left: Asics Gel Fit Tempo 2 MT – Love love love these shoes!

Anyway, it has taken me a couple years to really workout regularly.  I started with P90X and did that for about a month and a half then I did 10 minute daily workouts using YouTube videos then back to P90X but the 30 minute version then back to 10 minute videos.  As time went by I hired a personal trainer for 3 months.  That was great!  I loved it and thought I could learn how to work out properly then workout on my own.  Once those three months ended I found BBG – Bikini Body Guide.  I skipped the 4 week pre-training because I had been working out regularly and was in the best shape of my life.  I was about three weeks in when I pulled an intercostal muscle.  I had no choice but to take a break for a few weeks and let it heal.  As much as I wanted and sometimes even tried to start working out again I couldn’t without aggravating it so I stopped working out but I didn’t stop eating right.

Instead, I started to pay more attention to what I eat and dabble into different diets like paleo, vegan, vegetarian or no sugar.  I never dove in completely to any but I would try them for about a week.  It was always tough especially since so many of the foods I love involve meat or seafood or sugar.  I realized that I didn’t want to give everything up and I didn’t want it to be noticeable that I have a certain diet so the best route for me was moderation.  Cut down on sugar, cut down on meat, cut down on fast food and drink more water but don’t deny a good meal when it is offered.

Back to BBG, my muscle finally healed up.  It took longer than expected but then the holidays came and my schedule was a bit crazy.  I wasn’t able to work out and a part of me was discouraged.  My husband who is also my workout partner (even though we don’t follow the same workouts) fell off the wagon with me when I pulled my muscle.  We do almost everything together so even though I encouraged him to work out it just didn’t feel the same.  Soon enough my husband started to realize I was in a funk and kept asking me about working out.  I wasn’t into it but finally he was very direct with me and told me I was not being myself and that I am usually so on top of everything and I need to snap out of it.  He was right.  I wasn’t myself.  I’m a list-maker, I read every day whether it be books or articles, I work out at least 3 times a week, I’m always running errands on my lunch break and making dinner at home and preparing lunch the night before, I even have time for my sewing and working on my business.  I wasn’t doing all of those things and I really needed to be doing those things to get out of my rut.  The next day, I went to work and I wrote my very first list in some time.  I was going to work out.  I was going to start the BBG – this time from pre-training.  So I did it.

I’m on week 1 of BBG after 4 weeks of pre-training and it is kicking my butt.  I am doing the Monday/Wednesday circuit training and the Tuesday/Thursday LISS.  I have a long way to go but I wanted to keep track of that here.  I’m looking forward to it.  I’m also looking forward to more lists, good books, great meals at home, and running my sewing business all the while working full-time.  🙂